7 Bookkeeping tips for small businesses

Most business owners dread going through their books of accounts. After all, math is not for everyone. But whether you like it or not, bookkeeping is a vital recipe for the success of your business.

You need to be involved in your business’ finances. The books are your scorecard to determine your business’ performance, helps you to work faster, and be more efficient. Here are seven sure-fire tips for proper bookkeeping

  • Getting the right software

Bookkeeping software came in handy when business owners had to record their financial transactions manually. It was an uphill task calculating figures and recording data.

Today, we have thousands of bookkeeping software to choose from which come in different levels. These levels include;

  • Cashbook
  • Ledger and cashbook
  • Ledger, cash book, and inventory.

As a small business, you don’t need expensive software. You are on a tight budget, but you still need software that is easy to use and understand. The software should perform functions such as help to invoice customers, combine different aspects of reporting, and produce charts for references.

  • Time-Tracking Software for Employees

The employment industry is changing fast. Today, most companies pay their employees for the time they have worked and the output. This way of payment strengthens employee performance and puts aside those who don’t work hard.

As a small business, you should start preparing for the future by paying your employees by the hour. How do you count the hours? There are many cloud-based tracking software that records the time an employee clocks in the office, used a computer, and the amount of work done.

These software eases bookkeeping records. You only have to log in and determine how much you owe your employees, the overtime they’ve worked, and vacation. Look for a tool that resonates with your payroll for easy integration during payment.

  • Keeping A watch on Late Paying Customers

If you don’t act on time, late payment customers can degrade the financial position of your business. You depend on their payment to pay your employees and keep the business functioning. 

The best strategy to avoid this is reaching out to the customer fast when they are overdue. Ask them when they will make the payment. If they have financial difficulty, draft a payment plan. The plan should not infringe on both parties.

  • Separate Personal and Business Finances

Mixing finances is common mistake business owners make when doing their bookkeeping. And the result is not good either. You find yourself tangled in a tax web that may tarnish both your personal and business financial records.

To avoid the long days of pain in the future, open a business bank account that’s under the business name. Also, get a business credit card to start making the credit rating that is separate from yours.

  • Record all your Business Expenses

Many changes take place in the taxation sector every year. You don’t want to find yourself at loggerheads with the taxman. The best way to do this is to ensure you record all your expenses. A simple act like scanning the digitized receipts will save you time.

Ensure that you also notify your accountant of any purchases you make. He should have a say in the investment if it’s worthwhile to the business or not. 

  • Do Frequent Check-Ups

Whether it’s a weekly, monthly, or quarterly check-ups, they’re essential as you can identify trends that affect your business. If they’re positive, leverage on them, if they are negative, solve them. 

For instance, you’ll notice some of the customers that pay late. You can reach out to make a payment plan. Or you may see that one of your product records high sales than others. You can get more inventory to keep up with the demand.

  • Don’t Introduce New Systems Without a plan

There are thousands of systems available today that might increase your business’ performance. However, implementing too many of them may do you more harm than good.

Your employees are human beings. If you swamp them with many systems, the chances are that they’ll lose time learning the new system. They’d instead use this time doing important stuff that brings more income to the business. 

Implement a system only if it is promising, but do it in a strategic way that does not affect the performance of your business. 

Bottom-line

Bookkeeping is not for everyone. However, with a few tips we’ve given you above, you can pull it off. If you need someone to hold your hand on your quest to becoming an expert in bookkeeping, you should check out this Bookkeeper Business Launch review. This course will teach you the ins and outs of bookkeeping which is what every business owner should know.

Use These Desktop Apps to Manage Your Remote Team

Building a business that is composed of remote workers is a great way to save money on your initial startup expenses, and it also gives you the luxury of hiring talent based on what someone brings to the table, rather than whether or not they are located within commuting distance to your office.

A combination of remote workers and outsourced tasks, you can scale the growth of a new business fast. And when you learn how to outsource properly it can free you up to work on growth initiatives.

You will be in front of your computer a lot if you are managing an entire remote workforce. So, it’s a good idea to arm yourself with the best desktop apps to help you manage and communicate with your team. Here are some solid recommendations to consider.

Slack

Slack is the most popular team communication tool and has been for some time. It has endless customization options and it really allows you to tailor it for your exact needs.

There is a free option available for small teams, so it’s worth exploring. Once you see just what can be unlocked in terms of communication you will be addicted to this tool.

Long email chains are a thing of the past when you learn how to use Slack. It keeps all of your messages and communication in one place for easy reference.

Google GSuite

Google’s GSuite is an entire collection of its best team collaboration tools. Things like Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms are its version of Microsoft Office and the sharing options make it a better choice for remote teams. From gathering info for online resources that provide todays horse racing tips, to e-commerce brands working on inventory — this toolset helps in all aspects.

Gmail is the best email option as well for organization, and it also syncs up with all of the GSuite products.

Google Drive is also great for hosting large files and sharing them with the team. The admin has full control over who can see, share and open files.

Zoom

Video communication is important for a remote team. With video, the entire team can feel as if they are one, even if they are all working from different parts of the world.

“When working with a remote team, video conferencing is a great way to keep everyone ‘connected’ and Zoom is the best option for this,” says Henk Schipper of Jaloezieen Fabriek.

It’s a good idea to schedule regular video calls, just so everyone always feels connected and part of the team. There will be some team members that are doing their own thing, so you need to make sure they don’t become isolated.

Even a weekly video call just to check in and have a 15 minute session is very healthy for a remote team.

Trello

This project management tool keeps everything in order, and is a great way to break down large projects into several smaller ones and assign tasks accordingly.

You might be working on a large travel accessories e-commerce website and one team might be creating the product images for suitcases, while another team might be writing the product descriptions.

You can keep everything nice and organized with Trello.

How to Convert More Website Traffic Into Sales

Sales are what make the wheels turn in any business, so anything that can be done to help get more sales should be fully explored. Online traffic is what every business with a website wants, from a blog to an HVAC repair company.

The thought of people visiting the website and making purchases 24/7 — even while you are asleep at night — is very appealing and the ultimate goal.

You could have a lot of traffic and steady traffic, but if it isn’t converting into sales then it’s essentially useless. You might get 1,000 visitors to view a product you are selling, but if they don’t hit the “buy now” button and complete the checkout process you might as well have had 2 visitors.

The end results is still $0 sales.

Well, there are things you can do to optimize your website for conversions, which will help you turn more visitors into customers (and revenue for your business). Here are three to explore.

Offer Exit Incentives

What if you were walking out of a retail store and someone ran up to you as you were about to walk out the door and said, “Wait! Don’t go — here is a 70% off coupon!” – would you turn back around and go buy something?

More than likely, yes. And the same thought process applies with an exit offer. If someone is leaving your website, you can prompt coupon codes and other special offers to be presented to them, in an attempt to get them to stay and buy.

Now, if someone lands on a blog like this one here, there isn’t anything to distract them from doing what the intent is — read the content. But, if someone is in your checkout process and tries to leave you can offer them an incentive to finish the purchase.

Highlight Reviews and Trust Badges

A lot of people won’t make a purchase on a website that they don’t trust. There are a lot of scammy looking websites out there. So, you need to do everything you can to highlight why someone that doesn’t know you should trust your business.

“You will get more sales if you appear more trustworthy,” says the owner of National Pool Fences. “Is your checkout process secure? Then mention it. Have you been featured in the media? Then let the people know.”

Also, if you belong to any organizations, either national or industry related, highlight those as well. Anything you can do to look more credible and trustworthy, the better.

Create FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)

Have you ever been on a website and when you put something in your shopping cart it will say something like, “Hurry up, there are only 3 more in stock and there are 17 people currently viewing this product!”

That is done to create a fear of missing out, and it works very well.

If you were selling a product like this car subwoofer, then you could have a countdown timer with a discount code. Even something like a 3 minutes countdown timer and a 10% off coupon or a free shipping offer, will get more people to convert simply because they don’t want to miss the deal.

What to Look For When Hiring a Freelance Web Designer

There is a never ending source of freelancer web designers available to hire online and with so many freelance marketplaces it makes locating them and viewing portfolios easy.

These platforms also make the transaction safe, where most will hold the funds and only release them to the freelancer once you are satisfied with the work. But, money aside, when you hire a web designer you are locking up valuable time. You might also have a deadline and need to get the new design live as quickly as possible.

So, time is precious so you need to make sure you hire the right web designer the first time. Here are some things to consider that will help.

Look at Recent Portfolio (and the actual websites)

All freelancers will have a portfolio available for you to review. This is a good starting point, but do some digging beyond it. Go visit the actual sites and see if the design is the same. If not, that is a good sign that it just didn’t flow well or didn’t convert well.

A portfolio on a freelancer site might look good, but how do you know that freelancer actually did that work? From a CBD oil company to a service provider, look for actual examples of the work done. Look for real-world examples on your own to really see their work in action.

Ask for Referrals

“Never be afraid to ask for referrals. Any designer that refuses this probably doesn’t have the best work to showcase,” says Chris Moberg of Slumber Search. “It never hurts to shoot a past client of theirs an email and just ask how their experience was.”

If a designer pushes back that is a red flag. Also, do some Google searches to see if you can find any other information about the designer. Do they have a website? A company? You might be able to stumble on their main website and see if they have client testimonials there.

Test Their Communication Response Time

One of the biggest gripes when it comes to hiring freelancers is the communication, or lack thereof it.

“You always want to know what you are getting into response-wise before you hire,” advises Darryl Howard of NuWays MD, the o-shot experts. “Ask specific questions and see how long it takes them to reply. If they go days without answering that could be a sign of things to come.”

They will usually be more responsive in the early stages before you are a client because they want to impress you and win your bid. So, be fully aware of this.

Ask for Input on Your Design Ideas

You should also test their creativity — after all that is why you are hiring. You don’t want someone that will just take any idea and slap something together. Look for a designer that takes pride in his or her work and wants to deliver the best possible web design to you.

“Get their feedback on your ideas,” says Chris Dziak of Pure Nootropics. “You might have some great ideas, but you want to make sure they make sense from a design perspective. Finding a designer that will give you quality feedback is important.”

These 8 Platforms Can Boost Your Business Visibility. Here’s How to Use Them

Is your business visible enough to the prospective customers, vendors, and employees in whose hands its fate rests?

If it’s not actively managing its presence on these eight platforms, the answer is a resounding “no.”

Perhaps that’s not what your resource-strapped enterprise wants to hear. Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life — one that’s only likely to become more urgent as your industry grows more crowded and competition for impressions, engagement, and sales increases.

You’re ready to do what it takes to boost your company’s online visibility. You don’t have a choice. Here’s how to make the process as painless and fruitful as can be.

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the preeminent social media platform for businesses in North America. If you don’t yet have an active LinkedIn profile, drop what you’re doing and create one. We’ll wait.

Good. Now that that’s done, take full advantage of LinkedIn’s capabilities:

  • Access to millions of thought leaders, including top leaders in your industry
  • Private and public LinkedIn groups where business leaders and organizations can discuss matters of mutual concern (and burnish their own credibility)
  • Publishing tools that make it easy to broadcast short- and long-form updates and content
  • Social features that bring you closer to your employees, customers, and industry peers

LinkedIn Premium is even more feature-rich. For most small and midsize businesses aiming to increase their market visibility, it’s a slam dunk.

2. Crunchbase

Crunchbase is one of the most popular business directory sites on the planet. With extremely high domain authority, your Crunchbase profile is basically a free entry on the first page of Google’s search results for your company name. It’s also a great venue for conveying key details about your company. The Crunchbase profile for InsureOne, a leading insurance broker, is a great example.

3. Medium

Medium is a blog-in-a-box, but better. Like Crunchbase, it has high domain authority, allowing users to reach audiences far wider than would be possible through their own personal blogs (though, as we’ll see, it’s important to have a branded business blog in your corner as well). 

For inspiration about Medium’s possibilities, look to the thought leaders you’d like to emulate. For instance, billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban’s Medium profile is rife with insights about business and technology; yours can do the same.

4. Facebook

You most likely need no convincing that Facebook is a worthy investment of company time and resources. Do you know how to get the most out of your Facebook company page, though? If you’re not —

  • Publishing multiple short-form updates per week
  • Running contests and giveaways for loyal customers
  • Joining (or starting) interest-specific Facebook groups
  • Posting video and other multimedia content to your profile

— then you’re not utilizing Facebook’s potential to the fullest.

5. Yelp

Yelp: It’s not just for restaurants any longer.

A well-curated Yelp profile can burnish any organization’s reputation, not least because it’s the Internet’s most visible source (other than Google and Facebook) for unbiased customer reviews. Cultivate positive feedback by:

  • Asking every customer to leave a five-star review after a completed sale
  • Offering to make right any less-than-perfect experience
  • Adding the Yelp sticker to your shop window and/or website

6. A Branded Business Blog

Your branded business blog is most likely to be on “receive mode,” at least to start. That is, the channels already listed here are likely to serve as funnels for its traffic. The narrow end of those funnels must lead to compelling content that your customers and prospects find valuable — and shareable, more importantly.

7. YouTube

If you’re not on YouTube, you’re doing video wrong. No need to invest in professional-quality equipment: Intimate talks and presentations filmed with a smartphone camera will suffice.

8. Twitter

An active Twitter feed is a powerful ally for your brand. More than any other platform, Twitter is a place to let your company’s true colors shine, as Patagonia’s Twitter feed exemplifies.

What Is Your Business Missing?

If your business isn’t reaching the audiences for these eight high-visibility platforms, it’s missing something. Full stop.

Fortunately, rectifying that omission is as easy as creating a free profile (or a few), or adding a new domain to your existing web hosting account. Your multichannel marketing apparatus will be up and running before the day is through.

Then again, creating these properties is just the start. If you really want them to make a difference to your marketing and branding campaigns, you’ll need to invest real resources in them. That means creating original content, posting regular updates, sharing third-party content that’s likely to resonate with your audience, and more.

As onerous as that sounds, you can’t afford not to make these investments. At least, not if you want your company to stay one step ahead of the competition in a crowded marketplace.

7 Marketing Strategies Every Startup Should Know

Marketing is critical for any startup because if people are not aware of the startup’s existence, they will not buy from it. However, when done the conventional way, marketing campaigns can be very costly, particularly for startups. Startups can use non-conventional marketing strategies to reach their target audience and grow their business. These marketing strategies that ride on modern trends that include the use of postcards newsletter template builder, email templates, content creation, search engine optimization, social media, and landing pages. Startups need to use as many of these strategies are they can to promote their products and services. Here are seven marketing strategies that every startup should explore: 

  1. Sending Email Newsletters

Emails are effective marketing tools that can help startups attract customers at minimal or no cost. To use this strategy, startups need to build an email list of prospective and existing customers in order to send them emails that promote their products or services. You can do this through your website. For instance, you could include a newsletter subscription form on the website to collect email addresses from visitors. 

The other way of building an email list is by asking customers to share their email addresses directly, even if you run a podcast. To interest customers, ensure that you include non-commercial information on your newsletters. For instance, a startup could feature content such as infographics, videos, articles and guides that empowers its target audience on the newsletter.

  1. Use of Social Media Posts

At this time and age, businesses cannot underestimate the power of marketing through social media platforms. With more than 3.5 billion people currently using social media across the globe, these platforms are taking marketing to a high level. Startups can use social media to promote their products or services by sharing posts such as videos, articles, infographics, offers, and promotions with their followers. 

In addition to marketing products, social media platforms serve as great spaces for engaging existing and prospective customers to understand their pain points and feedback on how they experience the products or services being offered by the startup. Some of the leading social media platforms that each startup should consider using include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and StumbleUpon. 

  1. Use of Blog Posts 

Blogs are great marketing tools that can give business startups the exposure they need. Statistics show that through blogging, businesses can generate up to 126% more leads compared to their competitors who do not blog. Using blogs, startups can position themselves as leaders in their industry and drive organic traffic to their sites through internet searches. 

The best way to create an effective blog is through publishing content that your target audience is seeking for or interested in. When such content is valuable, search engines will rank your blog highly on search results. This translates to high traffic as more people get to know about your startup. 

  1. Generate shareable content

Internet marketing thrives on sharing. This means that the content you create about your startup should be interesting and valuable to make your audience want to share. The more people share a piece of content, the more that content goes viral and reached more people. Some of the content formats that entice people, encouraging them to share include visual content such as short videos, infographics, images as well as blogs, stories, and articles.

 In creating content, consider information that is related to your business or is about your business. Of importance to note is that providing additional information to your followers or customers could entice them to become more curious about what you are offering. 

  1. Use Referral Programs

To grow your business fast, consider using the referral marketing strategy. This strategy thrives on allowing customers to promote your products or services to their friends and family. Most successful companies set up referral programs because people tend to believe in personal recommendations from people they know more than they believe company adverts.  

Every startup can reach more customers through a referral strategy by getting current customers to refer other people to the business. Find creative ways to encourage existing customers to refer their friends to your startup. For instance, you could offer customers who refer people to your business commissions, discount vouchers or coupons that they can claim in the future. An example of this could be ‘refer 2 friends and get free shipping the next time your shop’. The audience you attract through referrals can be a strong lead for your startup. 

  1. Hold a pre-launch event

When you are launching your business or product, create a buzz about it and let your target audience about it online and offline. One way to do this is by issuing raffles. Though this will cost you, it will entice them to get raffles and market the business. Through raffles, you can also encourage your audience to follow your business on different social media platforms. Once they connect with you on social media, you will be able to get their feedback about the products or services you offer. You will also be able to develop a contact list for use in future events or communication. 

  1. Use Search Engine Marketing

Search engine marketing is a strategy that involves driving traffic to your website and other online platforms through search engines such as Bing, Google, and Yahoo. For this strategy to work, you need to focus on optimizing your website for the search engines so that people can find your startup without having to call you. 

Statistics show that every day, millions of internet use search engines to find stuff on the web. If you optimize content such as blog posts, articles, images, videos and social media posts for search engines, you will attract visitors to your website and begin connecting with them to grow your customer base.  

Since you will be driving traffic to your website, ensure that it is loads fast so that visitors can access it without having to wait. To achieve this, you need to avoid the use of many heavy images as those will slow the website. Instead, use images only where they are really needed. 

Simple Barcode Inventory System for Small Business to improve efficiency

Inventory control is an essential element of any business. By maintaining effective control over your inventory, you can minimize losses and increase productivity. 

An effective inventory control system in place allows companies to offer more accurate stock information, faster shipping services, and improved customer experience. 

Small businesses sometimes assume that they don’t require a comprehensive inventory system. Many believe that implementing an inventory control system will be too costly for a start-up business or SME. 

However, small businesses and enterprises can benefit from advanced inventory systems, even more than larger organizations. As small companies generally have less staff and fewer resources, anything which streamlines processes and enhances productivity is beneficial. 

Furthermore, an effective inventory control system needn’t be costly to implement. 

What is a barcode inventory system?

A barcode system is one of the easiest and most efficient ways to maintain control over your inventory. Put simply; a barcode is a visual representation of data. When you scan this information which a barcode scanner, it updates the data in the system accordingly. 

1D barcodes are, perhaps, the most familiar type. They consist of vertical straight lines and a series of numbers along the bottom. However, 2D barcodes are becoming increasingly popular. 

Usually square, they consist of dots and various small shapes. As 2D barcodes can hold more information than 1D barcodes, more businesses are upgrading to 2D systems. 

Using a Barcode Inventory System

To use a barcode inventory system, you simply assign a barcode to each product in your system. You can then print out quality labels with the barcode on and apply it to the corresponding product. When you scan the barcode, it will automatically update your inventory system. 

Similarly, you can achieve the opposite effect when using a barcode system too. By using a different setting, you can enable the system to deduct a product from your inventory when you scan the corresponding barcode. 

As you can see, a barcode system enables you to record stock as it enters and leaves your premises. More importantly, it increases the accuracy of your data and allows you to manage your inventory far more quickly than if you were to do it by hand. 

What are the benefits of a barcode inventory system?

There are numerous advantages associated with using a barcode system to monitor your inventory, including:

Efficiency

Printing barcodes on to quality labels and scanning them allows your inventory to updated in record time. This will streamline your processes and increase productivity significantly, thus freeing up staff members for other tasks.

Functionality

If you introduce a new product, you can simply add a new barcode to the system and update your inventory. Similarly, if you discontinue a product line, it can be removed from the system in seconds. With the ability to make swift changes, the functionality of a barcode inventory system is second-to-none. 

Flexibility

Barcode inventory systems can be used on all types of products. Regardless of what packaging materials you’re using, quality labels will ensure that you can adhere barcodes to products of any shape or size. 

Reduced costs

When you manage your inventory manually, it can take a significant amount of time. Whether you’re doing this yourself or assigning staff to the task, it will cost you a considerable amount in terms of productivity. 

Switching to a barcode inventory system ensures the job can be done more quickly and by fewer people. As a result, you can minimize your outgoings, cut your wages bill and reduce overall costs.

Accuracy

Manual inventory management inevitably leaves the door open for human error. However, conscientious your staff are, they will make mistakes from time to time. 

When using a barcode inventory system, however, you can minimize these inaccuracies and maintain comprehensive stock information at all times.

Real-time data

Depending on the system you choose, you can access real-time inventory data when you use a barcode system. This means you can check stock levels and locations whenever you need to and access the latest information. 

Keeping track of your stock in real-time negates the possibility of ordering or producing too much and minimizes waste, thus reducing your costs even further.

Implementing a barcode inventory system

Small businesses, in particular, need to operate as cost-efficiently as possible. With the right packaging materials, printing equipment, barcode scanner, and quality labels like Zebra Printer Labels like the one from enkoproducts.com, you can implement an effective barcode inventory system straight away. 

Barcode inventory systems make life easier. They increase efficiency and lower costs, which is why they are an excellent investment.

7 Ways Smartphones In Healthcare Are Becoming Vital

There’s a mobile revolution brewing from smartphones in healthcare.

According to the latest statistics, mobile health (mHealth) is expected to reach $21.71 billion by 2022. There are many factors that influence this market’s growth, but one of the most important is the adoption of smartphones and wearable devices into the healthcare industry.

Smartphones in healthcare will affect everyone, from patients to medical students, doctors and nurses, everyone uses a smartphone for health purposes. Here are a just a handful of ways smartphones are becoming indispensable to the healthcare industry.

1. Enable patient monitoring

Before smartphones, patients had to come to the hospital for physical check-ups or, if they had just underwent surgery, remain hospitalized for a couple of days, so doctors can closely monitor their recovery.
For doctors, that meant seeing more patients on a hard to maintain schedule. On the flip side, patients were spending tens of thousands of dollars on hospital stays.

Smartphones have made it possible for doctors to remotely monitor their patients, so that patients are able to recover in their home comfortable and without a hefty hospital bill. It also frees up doctors’ time to allow them to better serve more patients, lowering their workload and increasing profits.

What’s more, software as medical device (SaMD) enables wearables to collect health data and send it in real-time to physician’s mobile device via wireless technology such as Bluetooth. This makes caring for chronically ill patients a lot easier and less expensive.

Receiving real-time data about important changes in someone’s heart rate or glucose levels, for example, allows doctors to quickly tweak their treatment and avoid a trip to the emergency room.

2. Facilitate learning for medical students

Gone are the days when medical students carried textbooks heavy enough to give them a chronic back pain. Nowadays, all they need is a smartphone and their favorite medical apps.

According to an article published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), over 70 percent of medical school students reported using at least one medical app regularly.

This percentage will only increase in the coming years, with more medical apps created daily. Some grant students instantaneous access to evidence-based medicine or test their diagnosis and treatment skills. Others help them stay up-to-date with industry trends, guidelines and medical literature.

Small enough to fit in a lab-coat pocket, smartphones have become a medical student’s best study companion. Learning to become a doctor is easier and more convenient than ever before, thanks to these devices’ ability to store all their studying materials in one place.

3. Improve clinical trials’ efficiency

Clinical trials are a vital part of medical innovations. And smartphones are helping streamline the way they are conducted.

With the steady rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) in healthcare, smartphones are becoming more prevalent in mobile-enabled clinical trials. In trials with large numbers of participants, having patients use their own smartphone or tablet for data collection can drastically reduce costs.

It can also improve data quality and increase compliance. Patients are more likely to record important health information in real-time with devices that never leave their sides, versus jotting it down on paper hours later.

And if they happen to forget to document their symptoms or take their medication — which is often required in clinical trials? Researchers can send patients SMS reminders.

4. Make healthcare accessible and convenient via telehealth

Mobile devices are making healthcare available to more patients, regardless of their budget or their location. The use of mobile technology in healthcare is called telehealth and it allows patients to get 24/7 doctor support for urgent care, psychiatry and other conditions at a fixed cost.

What’s more, studies show telehealth to be just as effective as in-office visits when it comes to diagnosis and treatment planning for chronic conditions, even for difficult to treat conditions like psoriasis.

The growing popularity of telehealth services didn’t go unnoticed by the biggest pharmacy chains. Last year, for instance, CVS Health launched MinuteClinic Video Visits, a telehealth service that gives patients with minor illnesses and injuries around-the-clock access to health services. All from their phones.

5. Empowering patients to manage complex diseases

For patients with cancer and diabetes, managing their condition can be a full-time job.

This is where smartphones come in handy, helping them stay vigilant about their lifestyle.

Patients with complex diseases rely on their mobile devices to schedule doctor appointments or measure their vitals. They also use their phones to lower stress through meditation.

Most importantly, smartphones help patients stick to their treatment plans. A recent study showed that patients with tuberculosis (TB) were more likely to take their medication, if they received support via smartphones versus face-to-face appointments.

6. An accurate self-diagnosis tool

It’s incredible how many health conditions can be diagnosed with a smartphone alone. No need for expensive or painful tests.

There are iPhone apps that can determine if someone is having a heart attack with the same level of accuracy as a medical electrocardiogram.

Others are capable of diagnosing anemia by analyzing photos of a patient’s fingernail beds. And elders can self-diagnose osteoporosis using their smartphone’s motion picture sensor.

Many medical conditions have subtle symptoms and can go undiscovered for years.

Thanks to their mobile devices, patients can now seek professional help — and receive proper treatment — before their health deteriorates.

7. Prevent administrative and medical errors

Mobile devices enable doctors to have access to medical records and critical lab results, in real-time, while at a patient’s bedside. This leaves little room for error.

In fact, one study showed that mobile devices cut medication administration errors by 61 percent and preventable medical errors by 46 percent.

Smartphones are also improving response times for emergencies such as seizures or cardiac events. A growing number of hospitals have integrated smartphone platforms that send phone alerts to nurses and clinical teams whenever patients need immediate assistance.

To keep up with the demand, smartphone manufacturers have launched devices specifically designed for hospital environments. Phones like the Zebra TC51 and the Honeywell Dolphin can endure a drop on the floor and they can come into contact with body fluids and still work perfectly. What’s more, they have a minimum number of seams, so as to keep germ absorption to a minimum.

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It’s easy to see why iPhones are poised to become the new norm in healthcare. While there are lingering concerns surrounding the security of handling sensitive health data from mobile devices, smartphone manufacturers are working on developing features that ensure secure connectivity.  

In the end,  the pros of using mobile health (mHealth), and smartphones in particular, far outweigh the cons. This is why 40 percent of all hospital workers are expected to use a mobile device at work by 2020.

5 things that make a mobile app amazing

It’s no secret that mobile is the future. Fewer people now view content on laptops or computers and more and more now reach for their mobiles. We all know it’s much more convenient, and in May 2019, just over 41% of web traffic came from mobile devices.

So why do so many shy away from making their content mobile friendly? It’s imperative that your business gets up to date with mobile users to ensure you continue to attract custom as technology evolves.

Mobile apps will not only increase the demand for your product but profits, too – as you will be opening up your company to a whole new audience. You’ll have a competitive advantage, as customers are much likely to come to your business first if they know you offer an app which is easy for them to navigate and use on the go.

Showing you’re keeping up with the times and doing more to push your brand will get you recognized within your industry and show that you really mean business.

Now that we have you convinced, what should you actually include in your mobile app to make it stand out from the crowd and gain traffic?

Here are 5 things that make a mobile app amazing.

Knowing your target market

According to Digital Authority Partners, for every 10,000 mobile apps developed, only 1 will make a dent in the market while the other 9,999 will get lost in the crowd.

To avoid being part of that 99.9%, you need to make sure to conduct thorough research on your target market.

You need to make sure that your app is filling a gap in the market, either by addressing a problem or targeting a direct target audience.

A study from the Journal of Business Cases and Applications states that since 2009, the number of niche app stores has doubled annually, while the number of general app stores has decreased. This proves more than anything that users are bored of seeing the same apps rebranded, and want to see something fresh.

Using fresh, professional designs

If you’re looking to create an app that people will want to download and use, it’s important to not only consider what you want to achieve, but how it will actually look on-screen.

The likelihood is that if a user doesn’t find the app appealing, they will delete it and may even leave a bad review. This will leave all of your hard work in the gutter.

Focus on a color scheme and styles of imagery and text that suit and blend with your brand, then develop from there.

If you are looking to work with a developer, make sure they are familiar with your brand and know exactly what you are looking for.

Blog Writer advises working with a team that already has experience in your industry, and to ensure you receive a timeline for the work to watch over and manage your budget carefully.

Science Direct has used the app CAMPER Weather as a great use of design when it comes to mobile. The weather app is designed to put a smile on the user’s face, no matter the weather.

This is how the shoe brand has demonstrated its understanding of optimism: half imagination, half craft. The app uses vivid imagery and colors to bring its brand to the customer in a way that doesn’t feel invasive or pushy.

Creating a robust SEO strategy

It’s obvious that you can’t really create an SEO strategy for a native mobile app, however, you can push your website to effectively market and create leads towards it. Combo App claims this all starts by finding the best keywords that fit in with your brand, location, and what you’re marketing.

Google only starts to pick up SEO after 60 to 90 days, so it’s important you set up the right time frames to make sure your site will push your app at the time of launch. Creating content based on your app will also help to boost its rankings on Google and the traffic it gets.

Remember, it’s important to make sure your app is in the 1% that gets noticed and downloaded!

Using video

The attention span of the world is getting shorter and shorter. An infographic from Wyzowl even goes as far as to claim that the average adult attention span has gone from 12 seconds to 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2005.

This means that apps now need fewer words and more video, especially when it comes to explainers and demos. Using video will keep the user much more entertained and more likely to stay on the app.

It will also ensure that they understand how to navigate the app without confusion. This is particularly important as those who can’t figure out how to use your product in a short amount of time are much more likely to give up and close down than to persevere.

Marketing to boast about your product

Your app may not make front page news, but for many technology websites, or even the business pages of a newspaper, your efforts to modernize your company and try something new will not go unrecognized.

Sending out press releases may seem like a lengthy process, but even if just one outlet decided to use it out of 50, you will have still increased the word of mouth surrounding your app and will probably attract more custom.

If your copy is easy to read and ready to go, titles are much more likely to use it. Make sure to find a clear angle to promote your content.

Whether that’s your business branching out or your new way to solve gaps in the market, people will want to know.

And if you don’t tell them, the likelihood is that they won’t find out.

This article comes from Michael Reddy @ Digital Authority Partners

Where to Hire Experienced Freelance Web Developers

While it would be nice to have a team of web developers in your office available for all of your needs, the reality is that it would be very expensive and it’s not something that is cost-effective for many small businesses. As technology becomes more in-demand, so do the costs.

An experienced developer can cost you well over six-figures in salary alone, and then when you add up the other costs, like health care and other benefits, it becomes out of touch. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have access to top quality developers when you are in need.

There are a lot of talent available on freelance marketplaces, giving you the ability to hire talent from all over the world and only pay for what you need done. Many developers like to work under this model because it allows them to pick and choose their projects and work when they want, giving them the ability to take time off when they please. Many of these are educated and have a college degree. Here are the best places to hire a web developer online.

UpWork.com

This is a great option for developers as well as any other freelancer available. You can also search by location if you are looking for talent close to you.

“UpWork is great because there is a lot of great talent with different rates available,” says Hill Web Marketing’s Jeannie Hill, an expert at understanding a searcher’s intent. “I suggest taking the time to not only look over experience and portfolios, but also spend the time to dig through the reviews.” You can often save yourself a lot of time and potential issues by looking for freelancers with solid feedback.

You are also protected by UpWorks payment system, which gives you control over the amount and frequency you can be charged.

Freelancer.com

One of the original and most popular options, this has probably the largest pool of talent to pick from. There is a lot of entry level, so you have to be prepared to spend time interviewing before you hire.

“You can usually find the lowest rates here, but make sure you see previous work history,” offers Darryl Howard of Blogger Tips. “This can also be easily faked, so put a potential hire through the test first, and be sure to test his or her knowledge with some questions to help you feel confident. The good thing is Freelancer acts as an escrow service, and you pay only when satisfied.”

HireGeeks.com

While a lot of freelancer marketplaces offer a lot of different services, from developers to graphic designers and content writers, HireGeeks is geared towards more technical jobs, like development and coding.

“There are a lot of solid technical experts that can be found here, and this is a good resource for those odd one-off jobs, like having a custom plugin coded or a new application developed to handle pulling API data,” says Irene McConnell of Arielle Executive. “No matter how technical the task, you can usually find someone here capable of getting it done.”

Toptal.com

Looking for the best possible freelance talent when it comes to development projects? Look no further, as this is where many of the largest companies in the world come when they want the best.

“The name says it all, as it’s short for ‘Top Talent’ and they claim to have the top 3% of talent when it comes to developers,” says Oliver James of Perth Web Design. “Along with top talent comes top prices, so be prepared to spend more than you would on some of the other platforms that doesn’t have a barrier of entry.” If someone is on Toptal, then they are highly regarded when it comes to programming and development.

While there is no need to hire from here when it comes to simple jobs, this is a great resource if you are a Fortune 500 company with deep pockets and you demand the very best in everything.

Fiverr.com

When you need a quick simple job done, this is a good option. You won’t find the top talent here, but you will find capable people for simple tasks.

“There are often times you need something done that may seem complex to you, but some someone with basic computer skills it can be done in a matter of minutes,” explains Pedro Del Nero of Vaporizer Vendor. “Something as simple as placing tracking pixel code in a website header might give a business owner anxiety but a freelancer can do it in 2 minutes.”

In a simple situation like this, it’s work paying someone $5 or $10 and not having to deal with it. They make a quick dollar and you get the task done correctly.

Guru.com

This is another marketplace with a lot of developers actively looking for new projects. On here, you have access to more than 3 million experts. But, be careful because anyone can claim they are an expert.

“Guru is a great user friendly marketplace to find help, but just be aware that it’s such a large database and there are no prequalification or testing done before someone can offer his or her help. The due diligence falls entirely on you,” suggests April Gillmore, CEO of ClickFirst Marketing. “I would suggest using this for very basic projects to start.”

The good thing with these type of marketplaces is that they are great at finding talent and using small tests to see how capable and reliable they are. Over time you can assign more difficult and complex tasks to those that have proven themselves.

PeoplePerHour.com

This option has grown in popularity, and it’s similar to UpWork in the sense that you can find almost anything here, from logo designers to blog writers for a health and fitness blog.

“You will want to really test potential hires before offering any complex development work,” says Tad Thomas of Thomas Law Offices. “You can literally hire by the hour, so the initial capital requirement to test options is low. For a new business or a SMB with limited resources, this is a great affordable option.”

You are also protected by their payment gate, which only releases the funds to the freelancer when the customer is satisfied and signs off on the completed job.